Make This Easy Change in Slack to Improve Your Company’s Culture

January 25, 2019

As a productivity junkie, I’m all about Slack hacks — I enjoy finding ways to make our organization more efficient.

But the change I’m suggesting today isn’t about muting channels or creating @user groups or integrating Google Docs. This suggestion is more… meaningful. It has the potential to change not how efficiently your team works, but how they feel about the work they produce.

Plus, it’s easy to do.

Create a #gratitude channel.

We launched our #gratitude channel at The Penny Hoarder three years ago, during a phase of fast growth. We were rapidly adding new employees and looking for ways to preserve our culture of gratitude.

So we created a channel solely for expressing thanks. It’s often directed at another employee, someone who helped achieve a big goal or simply tidied up the coffee station. Sometimes it’s about the things we know we shouldn’t take for granted at work: our 401K match or the free coding class one of our developers runs on his lunch break. And occasionally the gratitude isn’t work-related at all, but for the beautiful weather here in St. Pete or the new poke bowl restaurant down the street.

I smile when that channel lights up in my sidebar because it’s always good news — a writer thanking his editor for support in publishing a challenging story; an employee expressing gratitude for our health insurance after being sidelined with an illness; a manager giving kudos to her team for meeting a tight deadline. Or gratitude to our Employee Experience team for turning our office into a puppy cuddlefest (yes, that really happened).

At a fast-moving startup, it’s easy to forget to look around and say thank you. Our #gratitude channel encourages us all to acknowledge the positive and share it with others.

It’s also a reminder of our company values — that we value teamwork and supporting each other and recognizing good work.

It’s easy to share values in a handbook, but far more effective when you give people a place to practice them and benefit from real examples every day.

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